Cats Beat Bears but Fall to Pioneers

March 20, 2010

DENVER, Colo. – After a huge effort from the Wildcats throughout the meet, No. 20 Arizona beat California (192.450) but lost to No. 19 Denver 195.400 to 195.325.

“We earned a good score, we just ended up barely letting the victory slip out of our hands.   Head Coach Bill Ryden said.

Arizona began on bars, earning a team total of 48.400. The Cats were led by senior Sarah Tomczyk and sophomore Britnie Jones who earned twin scores of 9.825 as well as tied for second place on the event. Unfortunately, the Wildcats had a little bit of a rough start to the meet, falling behind Denver by 0.625 and California by 0.400 after the first rotation.

“Four of our six routines weren’t as high as we wanted them to be, but this meet was truly an example of the fight and character of the team – they just kept fighting after the first event.” Ryden said.

The GymCats made up some of the deficit on the next event, with solid scores of 9.775 earned by freshmen Aubree Cristello and Molly Quirk as well as sophomores Katie Matusik and Deanna Graham. The team ended up with a total beam score of 48.850, placing them behind Denver by 0.85 but enabling them to pass California by 0.375.

Arizona then turned up the heat on floor, led by senior Sarah Tomczyk who won the meet and earned a score of 9.90 – her third floor score of 9.9 or better in a row. In second place was sophomore Aubree Cristello who posted a 9.850, tieing her career high for the event. At this point, the GymCats had closed the gap behind Denver to only 0.475, and put them above California by 1.65 points.

“Throughout floor you could see the emotion in the team. They were willing to give it absolutely everything they had to try and bring up the score.” Ryden said, “I mean, Sarah looked fantastic on floor. The best thing about Sarah was the rebound she made after her beam routine and how her maturity as a competitor allowed her really come out and compete.”

The momentum continued for the Cats on the vault, where they earned a team total of 49.150; their fifth score of 49.000 or better for the season. The GymCats were led by sophomore Deanna Graham, who earned first overall and tied her career high vault score of 9.90. Other top scores included sophomore Talyn Curry, who stuck her landing cold to post a career high of 9.800 as well as freshman Aubree Cristello and senior Sarah Tomczyk who earned twin high scores of 9.850 to tie for second place.

“I was very excited about how we vaulted; it was one of our best vaulting efforts. The best thing about vault though was the emotion – the team was not going to give up no matter what, how can you not love that passion and fight?” Ryden said.

In the all-around, Aubree Cristello led the Wildcats with a score of 39.050, taking second overall. In third place was Deanna Graham with a 39.000 followed by Sarah Tomczyk and Molly Quirk who earned scores of 38.775.

Despite a valiant run in the second half of the meet, the GymCats fell to Denver by only 0.75 but topped the Golden Bears by 2.875.

“I was hoping that we would’ve done a little bit better, but after the first event we really showed our true colors. I loved the character and passion from the team tonight. We didn’t give up after bars and we really gave it our all throughout the rest of the meet.” Ryden said.

Next week the GymCats head into the post season, hosting the Pac-10 Championships. The meet will take place at 4 p.m. on March 27 in the McKale Center.




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